More about Kim Gamble

Kim's interests included reading, music, gardens, walking, making things and painting. He described himself as fairly relaxed, loving, curious, grateful, a bit confused and often happy, especially when the pictures flowed, and he considered Odilon Redon and Marc Chagall to be truly 'great artists'. He barracked for the Newcastle Knights.

How did you become an illustrator?

‘I've always loved drawing, both for its own sake and to get things out of my system. As the youngest of four, whenever I was angry because I wasn't getting my own way, I'd go into my room, take a sheet of paper and a pencil, fill the sky with jet planes and draw soldiers all over the ground. Then I'd attack them - zzzooomm BLAT! BOOM! BLAT! - with long fast lines and lots of squiggles. After ten minutes, the ground was a mess of destruction and I'd feel much better. I also drew flowers, when I couldn’t contain my happiness.’

What was your favourite book as a child?

'Tove Jansson's Moominsummer Madness.'

If you weren’t an illustrator what would you be?

‘A struggling artist.’

Where do you like to work?

‘I work at a table under a window looking out onto the garden or the sea, with jars and bowls, and bits and pieces for drawing, water-colours, an easel, and another table for oil or acrylic painting, a phone, a CD player, a sofa for visitors to sit on, bookshelves, and flowers. They are big rooms, full of light.’

What are the best and worst things about being an illustrator?

‘Best: reading the stories, getting the ideas. Worst: when it’s time for the pictures to go to the printer, and I haven’t finished them.’

Of all the books you have illustrated, which is your favourite?

‘I have two daughters. Which one is my favourite? I don’t understand the question.’


Kim Gamble died in 2016. Children's literature specialist Judith Ridge called Kim ‘one of the greatest children's book illustrators this country has ever produced’.




Picture Tashi